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New Mexico’s #1 Sports Magazine September 2014

question of ethics see page 22 lobo football holly holm

welcomes fighting championships See Next Page For Details

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New Mexico’s only Professional Bodybuilder will compete in the 50th Anniversary 2014 Mr. Olympia

Full name: Jojo Ntiforo Fun fact: Jojo competed at Nationals at age 11 in the 100m dash and long jump. He always knew he was either going to be an Olympic sprinter, (like his father who ran in the Olympics in Rome for Ghana), or a professional bodybuilder. JoJo was first introduced to the sport of bodybuilding in 1982. His brother bought him his first weight set for Christmas at a young age. Every day after school JoJo would come home and hit the weights for an hour, then afterwards he would prepare himself a meal of chicken and ramen noodles… his “protein and carbs”. JoJo now looks back in amusement at his diet compared to what he has learned since! After high school JoJo joined a gym. As a very athletic and muscular 165-pound young man, he would blast music and train with all the blood and guts intensity he had, spending hours at the gym. In 1999 he decided to compete at the 1999 NPC New Mexico State/Mid USA. This was his very first show and he ended up winning the Light Heavyweight class and the overall title at the show, obtaining the Mr. New Mexico title. Gaining confidence after his win and the package he brought to his first show, he pushed forward to see how far he could go in the sport and make a career out of what he loved. In 2002 he won the National Championship and earned his IFBB pro card. To this date, JoJo is still the only IFBB pro bodybuilder in the state of New Mexico. This season, Jojo competed against the best bodybuilders in the world and has earned qualification to Joe Weider’s 50th Anniversary of the Mr. Olympia. This is the ultimate competition in the sport of bodybuilding and is comparable to the World Cup in soccer, the Super Bowl in football and the Olympics. It’s the biggest body building show of year where the top 18 pros in the world compete to be crowned top bodybuilder in the world.

Birth place: Kumasi, Ghana Lives in: Albuquerque NM Height: 5’10 - Stage weight: 240 Off season weight: 270 - Inches of bicep: 22” Sponsors: Nutrishop New Mexico

Training regimen for the 2014 Mr. Olympia hopeful:

Jojo weight trains 4-5 days/week and incorporates cardio twice daily. Day 1: Legs Day 2: Chest/Shoulders Day 3: Back/Traps Day 4: Biceps/Triceps

Nutrition: Jojo eats high protein meals (350g), with relatively high carbs and fats cycled in based on his carb intake. He eats 6 meals per day. Supplements: Jojo prefers Nutrishop products to maximize results during his Olympia prep. “Protein Synthesis is a staple protein source,” says Ntiforo, “because it’s a high quality, low carb protein powder, and it taste good too. I also like N’Sane for my pre workout mixed with with Metabolic Spike give me the energy boost I need for a good quality workout. I make sure to use Forza Sport BCAA’s intra-workout to preserve muscle and prevent going into a catabolic stage during my workouts. And I use Glutacor with Mass Fuzion after the workout to speed up muscle recovery and prevent injury.» Favorite Body Builders: “I would have to say a number of the bodybuilders that I looked up to when I started out Lee Haney first and for most,” he says, “Dorian Yates, Shawn Ray, Flex Wheeler and Kevin Levrone.” Favorite spot to eat in NM when you›re not dieting: “Such a hard question! I love some Mexican food from down south in Las Cruces,” says Ntiforo, “as well as Blake’s, Elephant Bar and Coldstone for dessert!” Red or Green (chile): Christmas Do you have anyone you›d like to thank? “I would like to thank Nutrishop NM,» says this champion, “my family, and my girlfriend Deanielle Durant.”


We’veGot YouCovered! @NutrishopNM NutrishopNM *Not valid on any sale items, protein powders, bars, cooler drinks or cannot be combined with any other offers or coupons. VALID AT PARTICIPATING LOCATIONS ONLY.

Hello ABQ Sports Fans, As the fall sports season gets underway, a vicious game-time attack on a La Cueva High School boys soccer player brings up the issue of conduct on the field. LCHS’s Kevin Driggs is calling on the NMAA and APS to investigate - ABQ Sports has exclusive pictures of the attack, see inside for the full story.

ABQ Sports magazine P.O.Box 15981 • Rio Rancho, NM 87174 1.855.567.SPORT (7678) Publisher

Lobo football is underway, and we begin our coverage with the man behind the ball, UNM’s Cole Gautsche and the outlook for the team after the first game of the season.

Montoya Publishing, LLC

Joc Pederson of the Isotopes makes PCL history - find out what he did to break an 80-year dry streak and the exclusive club to which he now belongs.

Managing Editor Sumiko Corley

Blake Swihart of Rio Rancho, living the dream playing for Pawtucket Red Sox - a look at his career and speculation of possible movement. CJ Maestas of Corrales wins gold at the Pan American Games in Toronto, learn more about this gymnast who has proven he is among the best in the world.

Director of Sales Jaime Gutierrez

Some legends in soccer are in the Duke City this week, gearing up for the inaugural International Legends Cup - greats like Carlos Valderrama are headlining this event, and spending some time in the community as well.

Art Director David Lansa DL Graphic Design

It’s our pleasure to introduce some very Special Olympians, and we have exclusive pictures of TEAM USA, led by some New Mexicans, as they emerge victorious at the 2014 World Shoot.

Director of Photography

Gene Pino is a name known throughout the state. Coach Pino is now in the fight of his life, what you can do to help. All that, and much more, in the September issue of ABQ Sports!

view our new & improved website! #abqsportsmag

Carlos Montoya

Anthony Griego Photographers

On the Cover Another fabulous cover shot by Carlos Montoya. Featuring Cole Gautsche, running for the endzone, Touchdown! Go Lobo Football!!

Jordan Montoya

Brian Carlos Montoya Boysen

New Mexico’s #1 Sports Magazine September 2014







Daniel Elliot Kayla Martinez Montoya Madriss Contributing Writers

Call (505) 872-3348 Online

Dave Chris Friedlander Martinez

Marty Saiz

Trula Howe





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ABQ Sports is a monthly magazine dedicated to covering all aspects of the Albuquerque and surrounding communities scene. We accept stories and photos for consideration. Email: All contents of this magazine are copyrighted by ABQ Sports Magazine, all rights reserved. Reproduction of any articles, advertisement or material from this issue is forbidden without permission of the publisher.

New Mexico’s #1 Sports Magazine September 2014




Lobos Football!

21 Maestas & Pan Am gold

More Sports.... 7 Holly Holm 12 NM Notables 14 Very Special Olympians


team usa goes gold!

18 Swihart Pawsox 22 Question of Ethics 28 Connie Mack World Series

6 September 2014


Championships Welcome Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter Holm” BY: Trula Howe Photos: Heather Clark


olly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm is one of Albuquerque’s most successful athletes. Widely acknowledged as the world’s best pound-for-pound female boxer, she is now an undefeated MMA fighter. Holding a stellar record of 7-0, with six of those wins by KO/ TKO, Holm is now the newest addition to the UFC Female Bantamweight division. From the time Holm officially retired from boxing in May 2013, her fans in both boxing and MMA have been closely following her MMA career.  Holm signed with Legacy Fighting Championships following her final boxing match, a unanimous decision win over Mary McGee that closed out her boxing career at 33-2-3.  She executed her three-fight Legacy contract flawlessly, with three TKO wins over increasingly skilled opponents.  Her last fight was a grueling five-round title fight against Brazilian Juliana Werner (7-4) that Holm ended in the 5th round with a headkick TKO.  This feat is even more impressive when you take into consideration that the southpaw’s left arm was broken in the first round. Not only did she win the fight in spectacular style, but even with the loss of one of her most powerful weapons, Holm dominated each round to win her first MMA belt. Thousands of fans, in person and on social media, have been regularly asking when Holm could be expected to sign with the UFC.  Even the current UFC Female Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey, has also frequently expressed interest in facing the worldrenowned former boxer. For the last year, in nearly every conference regarding Rousey, members of the media have asked Holm when she could be expected to join the ranks. A considerable amount of negotiation was required, from which both UFC and Holm’s manager Lenny Fresquez had, at some point, walked away.  However, agreement was ultimately reached, and on July 10, 2014, UFC President Dana White tweeted “Welcome to the UFC @_HOLLYHOLM.”   Her contract is for five fights, and while Holm is still recovering from her broken arm, she expects to be cleared soon, and her manager has confirmed that she is expected to fight sometime in November of this year. • 7

Warm Up the Right Way – Part 1 By Jim Lezeau, MS, PES, CES


or those of you who are currently using a foam roller, you know that foam rolling is the pain you hate to love, but you also love to hate. For those of you who have never used a foam roller, it is an excellent form of self myofascial release (SMR). In layman’s terms, SMR is an excellent form of self trigger point therapy or massage. Many fitness enthusiasts know that foam rolling is an excellent tool for working on tight muscles, knots and trigger points. However, it is also an excellent pre-workout warm up. One of the most important keys to an effective exercise program is to implement a proper warm up. But just what does a proper warm up consist of? This article is the first in a series of three designed to help all levels of fitness engage in a proper warm up routine for any type of exercise. In order to prepare the body for the amount of work that it is going to complete in any type of workout, we want to focus on the soft tissue (muscles and fascia in particular). Although cardiovascular exercise does a good job of raising the body temperature, foam rolling is more effective because it does a better job of preparing the muscles for the workloads they are about to complete. Doing any type of physical activity on muscles that do not work properly will lead to injuries.

a warm up, you can create a routine that only focuses on the muscles you are going to work and/or just the “hot spots” or problem areas. Most foam rolling purchases come with good pictures and instructions on proper use. Working with a fitness professional can also help with technique and building a proper program. Look out for foam rolling classes offered quarterly at Defined Fitness.

In order to complete a proper warm up using a foam roller, it is important to roll muscle groups for 20-30 seconds. As

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“The mission of live. love. tri. is to help empower women by building their self-esteem and helping women of all ages to recognize their tremendous individual worth. When we help a woman, they help their family, community and shape a brighter future for their children.” - Kristen & Anna, race founders


his race is about women.

Strong women. Struggling women. Athletes, moms, daughters, friends. Females who support one another. Income, background, athletic skill - not relevant on this day. A day to check baggage when parking their bikes - moments to reflect on what they have down in their guts, and in their hearts. 245 ladies spanning decades of ages turned out for this femaleonly event August 23rd at the Rio Rancho Aquatics Center. This sprint tri consisted of a 5k run, 10-mile bike and 400m swim. “We decided to celebrate our mature woman in the race by starting with the oldest competitors,” says race coordinator Angie Kandalaft, “by starting with the oldest competitors and then in 5 minutes increments begin younger and younger competitors.”

10 September 2014

BY: SUMIKO CORLEY This is the 4th year for the event and the only race exclusive to females, in this state. Live.Love.Tri offered several competition categories - Aquabike/Teams/Fat Tire/Athena (165+). The Mother/ Daughter category was an opportunity for togetherness - training, competing, celebrating. And in keeping with the theme of this event - nurturing, caring, uplifting other women - a portion of the proceeds go to an organization that helps women and children overcome homelessness. “The race has donated to the Barrett Foundation the past three years,” says Kandalaft, “and the proceeds from the raffle and selling prior year’s merchandise will be going to the Barrett Foundation again this year.” Find race results at

Racer #471 on bike (Ricki Hockehull)

Black Dog Tri Team From Left to right, Racer #534 (Noelle Sharp), (Paige Kinucan), Racer #486 (Rhonda Eustice), Right side Ricki Hockenhull)

Race Founders Left side (Kristen Briggs) Right side (Anna Volkman) • 11

New Mexico


Gus Brock The Panthers have a new head football coach - but he’s a familiar face. Brock has come out of a three-year retirement to return to the program he led to a 1991 state championship in AA. Brock coached Menaul to 124 victories over his 18 years at the school. His 39-year, pre-retirement career also included Albuquerque Coach of the Year (1991, with Bill Gentry) and a milestone 150 game award. He’s coached at Menaul, Zuni and schools in Kansas, Missouri and Arizona.

Ralph Kiner This baseball legend has been laid to rest in Farmington, his final wishes to be buried near his parents. He passed away February 6 at his home in California at the age of 91. Despite a career-ending injury at the age of 32, Kiner led the National League in home runs for seven straight seasons (194652) and was a member of six All-Star teams. Following his stint in the Majors he worked as a longtime broadcaster with the New York Mets. His signature call - ‘Going, going, gone, goodbye!’

Alex Kirk The pride of Los Alamos is going to the NBA, signing a two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kirk is a former Lobo and Los Alamos high standout. The contract is not a guarantee on the regular season roster, but he appeared in the starting lineup for the Cavaliers first summer league game. He had one semester of eligibility left with the Lobos he earned his marketing degree in May. Kirk averaged 13.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks/game the last season he played at UNM.

Carson Constancia This 6th grader at Desert Ridge Middle School has been picked as one of the best defensive linesmen in the country for his age, recently selected as defensive lineman MVP while attending an Offense-Defense Football Camp in Colorado this summer. He was also named an Offense-Defense All-American from a pool of thousands across the country. Constancia plays with La Cueva East Sophomores (YAFL). He’s been invited to participate in the 9th annual Offense-Defense All-American Bowl Week at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.

Mike Whalen The man who spent more than two decades on Goddard’s varsity football coaching staff steps into the head position with the departure of Sam Jernigan. Whalen has been instrumental in the Rockets’ impressive defense for more than a decade, as the defensive coordinator. ABQ Sports anticipates formidable football from the program that has produced eight state championships, six of which were under the guidance of Jernigan/Whalen.

Betsy Patterson In Memorial This much beloved swim coach passed away in late August, 10 years after her battle began with breast cancer. Patterson spent more than two decades coaching at Sandia High School and at the club level. Betsy Patterson was 53.

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JAMES KEEFNER and the Albuquerque Dukes

Very Special Olympians BY: SUMIKO CORLEY


ne look at the post-victory photo of James tells you the outcome of his state championship unified softball game at the Four Corners Invitational in Farmington August 23rd at Ricketts Park.

“Winning was amazing! We are all out there to have fun,” says James Keefner, “but it’s the most fun when you win! Taking gold is an amazing feeling. The Special Olympic motto is: ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.’ I love it when I win though!”

Unified, meaning he, and other athletes were paired with a nondisabled adult to form their team. James’ partner - his father Jim. They hustled for some good ball, and even better memories. “I love playing with my dad because he’s the best partner and I want to thank him for always helping me,” says James. “He takes me to all the practices and to the Isotopes games and to Dodger and Blackhawks games and Journey concerts and he is my best buddy and I love him so much.” And you can bet that feeling is mutual.

“We have learned the power of kindness and love. James exudes these qualities and he brings out the best in people. He is always willing to give a hug or encouraging word to anyone that crosses his path. In addition, we have the privilege of looking at life through the perpetual eyes of a child. There is wonderment and love of learning every day and the smallest things bring him joy.” - Patricia Keefner

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“The love I have for James is probably the same as any other father, but perhaps a little stronger,” says father Jim, “protective, and special in the sense that – because he has Down syndrome - I want him to have the opportunities to be able to enjoy life to its fullest and to really make the most of his friendships and always be protected and safe. I hope and feel that the love I share with him he reciprocates to others as I see his smile and joy of life positively affects everyone with whom he comes in contact.”


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Special Olympics softball differs from prep softball in that game time runs one hour. After two strikes, the batter has the option of use a tee. Their season runs June-August with summer games that determine what division a team plays in at state.

Love, Hope, Success, Family, Security.

There are more than 3,000 Special Olympians in New Mexico, about 500 in softball. Other events include golf, swimming, flag football, aquatics, track & field, bocce, volleyball and rhythmic gymnastics. Coaches are certified, the ages of current athletes range from 2 to 81. “The Games provide each athlete the opportunity for quality competition,” says NM Special Olympics Executive Director Randy Mascorella, “the opportunity to socialize and build meaningful friendships, to show those who come and watch the abilities of those born with intellectual disabilities, and having our Games throughout the state affords our athletes and their families the chance to travel to other communities in New Mexico that they may never visit. Special Olympics New Mexico also sends athletes to National and International Competition.” James is 22-years old, and nowhere near the end of his competitive sports days. He volunteers for the Isotopes grounds crew, St. Michael’s Food Pantry and Rust Medical Center. This former Cibola High School homecoming king loves to dance, hang out with friends, and, of course, spend time with his girlfriend. Staying active, he says, is important. Winning? Well, it’s really the byproduct of the most important aspect of competition. “I like being a Special Olympian,” he says, “because I love sports and it allows me to play with my friends and it makes me feel like a star.”

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nce again, the University of New Mexico football team came, oh, so close, to winning a football game that even the fans who left University Stadium after the Lobos’ 31-24 loss to UTEP on Aug. 30 should be returning.


“We started out wobbly,” is how coach Bob Davie described it. “On offense in the first half, really all started with the snaps. For whatever reason early in the game, we were just tippy-toeing around, just kind of wobbly. And on offense, we had a lot of mistakes in the first half, a lot of mistakes.”

After all, the 19th-ranked team in the nation, Arizona State, was on deck for the following Saturday, Sept. 6.

That’s why the Miners, 7½-point underdogs, were able to take a 24-7 lead by halftime.

And then, in order of the Lobos’ games at University Stadium: Fresno State (Sept. 26), San Diego State (Oct. 10), Boise State (Nov. 8) and Wyoming (Nov. 29).

Down but not out, the Lobos rallied to score 17 unanswered points in the second half, keyed by quarterback Cole Gautsche’s second long touchdown run of the game – this time a 51-yarder after a 68-yard dash to paydirt in the first quarter – and a 35yard field goal by Zack Rogers, like Gautsche, a former player for a high school in nearby Rio Rancho.

Oh, sure, there may be some fans already asking “When does Lobo basketball season start?” but UNM showed enough potential against the Miners that most of the 25,000-plus who saw the opening-night loss will be back.

16 September 2014

But late in the game, Dameon Gamblin coughed up a punt deep in UNM territory, the Miners recovered and soon scored what turned out to be the winning TD. Clayton Mitchem, relieving Gautsche after he was hampered by a pulled hamstring (and was expected to miss the game vs. ASU) started moving the Lobos downfield in a last-gasp attempt to tie, only to throw an interception and the Miners ran out the little time that remained. “They couldn’t stop us in the second half. We got a couple stops on defense, obviously the fourth-and-goal. And then there at the end we get a three-and-out. We made two critical mistakes, the game’s 24-24,” Davie said. “We had momentum; there’s just a little bit of difference between Cole Gautsche running that triple option and Clayton Mitchell. We fumbled the ball on third down. That’s the difference between winning and losing right there.”

The Lobos had 80 more rushing yards than the Miners, but only 67 yards through the air on a combined 5-of-9 passing, with that lone “fatal” pick at game’s end. There weren’t many flags thrown, for an opener: UNM was penalized three times for 25 yards, the Miners twice for 10 yards. It would take a mistake-free game and a career-game by Mitchem to stay close to the Sun devils, Davie knew. But it’s a long season. “We’ve got to improve,” he said. “So I’m disappointed but I’m not discouraged. We just have to get better.” PHOTOS: CARLOS MONTOYA


505-833-3765 • 17


PAWSOX STAFF REPORT Swihart soon became what many saw to be the Red Sox’s “catcher of the future,” and in August, the 22-year-old switchhitter and No. 3 prospect of the Red Sox inched closer to Fenway Park when he was promoted from Class AA Portland to triple-A Pawtucket. He is poised to be the next New Mexican high school kid playing in the Majors: Already playing big-league ball and representing the Land of Enchantment are Arizona Diamondbacks teammates Jordan Pacheco (La Cueva) and Cody Ross (Carlsbad), Miami Marlins pitcher Michael Dunn (Farmington), Phillies pitcher Kenny Giles (Rio Grande), and Oakland A’s outfielder/first baseman Kyle Blanks (Moriarty).



ive years ago, he played for the Rio Rancho High School state championship baseball team.

Following his next two seasons, played for the new Cleveland High Storm, Blake Swihart was dead set on playing baseball at the University of Texas – until the Boston Red Sox made him their first-round draft pick and offered him a $2.5 million bonus to sign on the dotted line. Goodbye, Longhorns. Hello, Red Sox. The son of Arlan and Carla Swihart of Enchanted Hills, where he had his own batting cage adjacent to the house, Swihart showed he hadn’t forgotten those who helped him along the way, as he donated some money to help the Storm baseball team and head coach Shane Shallenberger build an indoor batting cage adjacent to the Storm’s diamond. “I’m very happy for Blake and all he’s done so far. Blake’s been a big part of our program; he was a big part of (RRHS baseball coach Ron) Murphy’s program before he came over here,” Shallenberger said. “The one thing with Blake is he always keeps in touch – he’s always there for you. Blake is a student of the game, he’s very smart with the game, and he’s happy to show anybody some tricks to help them get better. “I think one of Blake’s best qualities is the way he treats people – he’s very humble, he’s a great person – so to me, that means a lot about Blake,” Shallenberger added. “He’s an outstanding young man.”

The PawSox needed a catcher because the Red Sox starting backstop, David Ross, had been on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis; he was activated in late August. But he’s been basically a back-up for six teams in his 13 seasons and isn’t the answer for a full-time receiver; he was hitting below the “Mendoza Line,” .192, when he rejoined the team off the DL. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who played in at least 100 games for the Red Sox from 2011-13, opted for free agency last Oct. 31, and veteran A.J. Pierzynski was signed in December but released in mid-March. Hence, the catching quagmire for the Red Sox. Pawtucket starter Christian Vazquez was promoted to Boston, leaving a vacancy in triple A and leading to Swihart’s promotion. All along, Swihart has been a highly regarded prospect in the organization, and he’s twice been an all-star, playing for Salem in the Carolina League in 2013 and with the Portland Sea Dogs earlier this season. He was the top defensive catcher in the Boston organization last season, and was recognized at a ballgame at Fenway Park, with Swihart looking dapper in a new suit. Before his move into the International League, he was batting close to .300 with a dozen home runs. But he struggled at the plate in his first 12 games with Pawtucket, hitting .229 with one homer and six RBIs. Those who have watched him over the years know he’s capable of “figuring it out.” Defensively, Swihart is at least as good as Vazquez, with no passed balls in 2014 and throwing out 48 percent of stolen base attempts (30 of 63). In Portland, he handled a staff that was 72-44 at the time of his promotion. There is speculation that Swihart, who also played shortstop and first base during his high school days, could be moved to another position long-term to preserve his bat, and



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Photos: COURTESY OF THE PORTLAND SEADOGS it’s said his lower body isn’t as strong as that of Vazquez. There’s another possibility to be chewed on: Swihart could be a potential major piece of a blockbuster deal the Red Sox are expected to make this winter. If Vazquez is deemed more valuable, the switch-hitting Swihart could be coveted by a slew of teams willing to deal. Boston dealt Jon Lester and John Lackey; Henry Owens, Swihart’s batterymate in the minors, gives them a start on a rotation for 2015. Swihart had some advice for anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps: “They’ve got to do something every day to get to that next level. There are Dominican and Cuban players hitting rocks with sticks every day. You can’t be sitting around playing video games.” If you want a “piece” of Swihart, try eBay: On a recent August day, there were 339 “entries” for Swihart, ranging in price from one cent to $400. But you can secure a certified autographed card of Swihart for as little as $5. It could prove to be a great investment, just as the Red Sox were hoping when they made the likeable Rio Ranchoan kid their top draft pick in June a mere three years ago.

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Gene Pino battles ALS with a “Let’s Do It” Attitude Story & Photos: MARTY SAIZ


ene Pino has been a fixture in youth sports in New Mexico since 1977. Today, Gene is battling ALS, which is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of an ALS patient averages 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis. Gene was officially diagnosed in March 2011, but probably had it for 2 years prior. Gene is a Belen High School grad, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UNM. In 1977, he began a 28-year career with APS, where he coached football and basketball at Belen, St. Pius X, Del Norte, Academy and La Cueva. From 1980-90, he was the head basketball coach at Del Norte. Gene went into administration with APS and was an athletic aoordinator for APS Athletic Department. Gene was the leader and catalyst in reinstating middle school athletics in 1995, which had ceased in the late 1970’s. He served as an assistant principal at Cibola and retired in 1995 as the Executive Director of the APS Foundation, raising money for underfunded school programs and scholarships. For 20 years, he served as the New Mexico AAU Boys Basketball Director, plus coached in AAU and the Albuquerque Youth Basketball League. From 2005-11, he served as the AYBL Executive Director, where he was instrumental in enlarging the league from 65 teams in 2005 to 156 teams in 2011. It was in 2011 he had to retire due to ALS. Gene’s attitude has always been a “Let’s Do It” attitude. Gene has not allowed ALS to take his spirit. He has remained busy working as an assistant director at the NMAA and serves on the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame. In 2013, Gene was awarded the “Award of Distinction” by the NMSHOF. Gene Pino 2013 ALS Walk


His wife, Sadie, retired from APS to take care of Gene as his ability to control the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe have been slowly deteriorating. Currently, there is no cure for ALS. With the “Let’s Do it” attitude, Gene, Sadie, family members and a host of friends are raising money for ALS. Team Gene Pino’s goal is to raise $25,000.00 and have the #1 team at the Walk to Defeat ALS on September 28th at Isotopes Park. For Gene, this is his “state championship”. His family and friends’ goal is that Gene has the biggest smile on the 28th and wins the “BLUE TROPHY” plus the biggest ice bucket event! If you have already done or are planning to do an “ice bucket challenge”, please consider donating to Team Gene Pino. If you have already donated to ALS but want to have the money redirected to Team Gene Pino please call the New Mexico ALS chapter at 505-3236348. You can donate to Team Gene Pino for ALS by going to this link: GenePino, “LET’S DO IT” for Gene!!

P&G Championship

MAESTAS wins Gold



t was an incredible performance by the US Senior National Team, where this six-man group of the nation’s top gymnasts tumbled, flew, grappled and spun their way to victory.

In front of a crowd of thousands at the Hersey Centre in Toronto, Canada August 29th, CJ Maestas of Corrales was one of the stars on this team of gymnastic elite. The senior at the University of Illinois led his team in the floor exercise (14.750) with a routine that included a tucked double-double, two-and-a-half barani and a layout Thomas. Maestas dismounted with a tucked full-in. Maestas produced a solid yurchenko double twist on vault for a 14.400, scoring 14.900 in high bar and 14.500 in pommel horse. He helped his team, comprised of the top gymnastic talent from across America, capture first in every event except vault, where the team placed 3rd. The team posted a 352.550 to win team gold. “No words can explain of how proud our entire family is of CJ,” say parents Frank and Cindy Maestas. “CJ has been able to focus on school and gymnastics, only taking a couple of weeks off a year to come home...(his) love of the sport and his commitment to his team is incredible. With CJ the team always comes first.”

PHOTOS: COURTESY, JESSICA FRANKL and Blue earn it’s 1st NCAA men’s title in more than twenty years. Sidelined during the 2013 season with a torn tricep incurred during practice, this 5-foot-4, 139 lb dynamo is battling back, evidenced by his runner-up position on stills at the 2014 NCAA showdown. “He feels like his body is always changing,” says father Frank Maestas. “Although it has been a struggle physically & mentally he has been able to come back with a full recovery. “ The younger Maestas also earned All-America status this year on floor and all-around. He heads back now for his senior year after setting the NCAA record on still rings (16.450) early in 2014. His goals this season? “For the team to win Big Tens,” says Frank Maestas. “For the team to win the 2015 National Championship! To win as many individual titles! To stay healthy!” During his time in Albuquerque, he trained at Gold Cup, he also honed his skills at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Maestas is a seasoned competitor, with one gold (2014, team) and two bronze medals earned at the Pan American Games (2011 rings and team). He earned silver at the 2011 U.S. Visa He earned his spot on the US National Senior 2014 Pan American Games Championships on rings (30.850), fifth on floor Team at the P&G Gymnastics Championships, (30.300) and 10th on pommel horse (27.200), earning an 8th place held at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center August 21-24. in the all-around and a spot on the U.S. Senior National Team. Maestas also earned 4th in the individual floor competition (14.825).

P&G competition highlights for Maestas included a 1st place finish on still rings (day one, 15.500) and 3rd place in the same event on day two with the same score. Overall, the Cibola High School grad finished 10th with a combined two-day score of 173.200, 86.350 and 86.850 on the respective days of competition. Events included floors, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars and high bars. Maestas has made a name for himself on the still rings, capturing the NCAA championship title in 2012 as a freshman at the University of Illinois. He earned three All-America honors that year, finishing 2nd in the all-around and was instrumental in helping the Orange

Maestas is looking to vault from collegiate success to another bid at the Olympics Time Trials. He had a strong finish in 2012, prior to his injury - 4th in still rings, 6th in pommel horse and 7th all-around. The 2016 Oympics - his ultimate goal. At print time, Maestas is traveling back from the Pan Am Games in Canada and not available for an interview. Be sure to pick up the October issue of ABQ Sports for an in-depth interview with CJ Maestas. • 21

Question of Ethics




vicious attack on the field during the La Cueva/Highland varsity soccer game at the APS Soccer Complex August 30th has the Bears’ Chris Manning recovering from head and back injuries, reprising the very serious issue of conduct and consequence. Here’s what we know: In a game described by La Cueva head varsity coach Kevin Driggs, players and several spectators, the game was fast-paced - not too rough or dirty - both teams playing hard. Then, during the 2nd half, La Cueva’s number 16, Chris Manning, and a Highland player both went for the ball. “They both went down to the ground after a tackle had been made,” says Driggs. “They got tangled up in a challenge, on the way down Chris Manning grabbed the Highland player. While on the ground the Highland player punched Chris, connected on the side of the head. After hitting Chris, he stood up for 3-4 seconds and then kicked Chris while Chris was on the ground.” Referees and players ran to stop the attack. Driggs says action was immediate, resulting in Highland’s #9 being ejected. Referees “gave a red card to the Highland player,” says Carlos Montoya, of ABQ Sports, who photographed the incident. “I heard some Highland parents provoking violence, yelling at the refs and players, telling the Highland player to ‘punch him, punch him’. The parents are one of the reasons, in my opinion, that this escalated. This is an important reminder of why parents are supposed to abide by a code of conduct as well. They have a responsibility to promote a good environment for the team and for encouraging good sportsmanship.” Zach Duran plays for La Cueva and was the first one to help Manning. “Highland parents got really quiet after the hit and kick occurred,” says Duran, “the bench from La Cueva was on the field within seconds of it happening, and one of the students from La Cueva was about to jump over the fence onto the field before the Athletic Director stopped him, the refs discouraged shaking the Highland team’s hands to prevent any further fights, and the assistant coach left the complex as soon as the game ended. Highland’s head coach had previously been red carded along with a player on the bench late on in the 22 September 2014

second half (before the incident happened). Chris wasn’t able to get up without help, and he had to ice where he had been kicked. According to Chris this morning, he couldn’t walk, and he thinks it (tailbone) might be broken.” The obvious questions: Why did #9 attack Manning? Did Manning provoke the attack? Witnesses say no. “No one deserves the attack Chris received,” says Driggs. “It is not in the code of the game. There are ways to send a message in a game, most players know this. This young man disrespected the game and the privilege it is to play the game. In my opinion he should suffer a consequence for his actions.” Driggs reports that a visit to urgent care determined Manning suffered bruising to his tailbone. Manning cannot play at this time and his ability to play will be determined on a week-to-week basis. Driggs has coached high school and club soccer for 20 years, 8 of them at La Cueva, and says he has never seen anything like this incident at the youth level. “Hopefully the NMAA and ruling authorities will take care of the consequence, it is not our responsibility to retaliate...Justifiable punishment. I will not comment on how long however, as educators

“Enough can not be said about how classy most of the Highland players were after the attack. The HHs players were very remorseful. ... Several Highland players were very apologetic and remorseful for their player’s actions. I am very impressed with the character of most of the players, especially the goal keeper, he even assisted Chris off the field, a class act.” - Kevin Driggs, La Cueva boys varsity soccer coach

we are taught not to retaliate and let the NMAA handle this, I can only leave it their hands and hope the punishment fits the actions.”

incidents are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and he could not speculate on any aspect of what happened during this particular game.

Standard protocol: Game officials submit a report to the NMAA, typically resulting in an investigation by that agency and APS. Given that this incident occurred Saturday during a long holiday weekend, no official inquiry is underway as of print time.

Calls to Highland High School’s administrative offices and the athletic director had not been return as of print time.

Dusty Young of the NMAA kindly returned a call during the holiday, saying that he had not yet received a report. Without commenting on this particular incident, he says all

ABQ Sports has identified #9 from the Highland High roster but is not releasing his name. We will follow any developments in this case and bring you complete details in the October issue. La Cueva beat Highland, 4-1. • 23

Valderrama & Bracamontes




ome of the biggest names in futbol will be in the Duke City in less than a week, competing in the International Legends Cup September 13th.

It’s “a one of a kind event that is an ‘All-Star’ game of sorts of World Cup Legends,” says Heather Briganti of the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Carlos Valderrama, the world-renowned Columbian soccer superstar, headlines this cast of extremely popular and well known soccer players.” It’s the first year of what is slated to be an annual event, says Albuquerque Sol FC President Ron Patel.

“We need to grow the game in our state,” says Patel, “and bring more national and international recognition to our great city.” An event of this magnitude is an incredible coup for Albuquerque. “This is the only place in Untied States it’s being played,” says Albuquerque Sol general manager Larry Espinoza, whose franchise and the Dallas-based International Sports Group founded the match. “The guys are not on tour, it’s something we’re bringing specifically to Albuquerque.”

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Valderrama is headling a roster of international soccer stars, all of whom have played in the World Cup. During a recent visit to the Duke City, he and legendary coach Carlos Bracamontes, formerly of Chivas in Guadalajara, Mexico, visited patients at the UNM Child Life unit at UNM Children’s hospital. More stars will be visiting area schools and other ailing children in hospitals September 10th.

Roy Lassiter

“The Sol is committed to giving back to the community,” says Patel. “We are dedicated to giving back and having these stars in town, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to enlighten some childrens’ lives with the presence of international superstars.” This upcoming week before the game is full of activities – opportunities to study with the greats and to sit down, break bread and talk one-on-one. Roy Lassiter, former USA World Cup legend who shares the record for the most goals ever scored in an MLS season, is conducting free soccer clinics September 7th in Albuquerque (Bullhead Park 9-11am) and Santa Fe (Las Campanas 3-5pm). $150 dollars will get you a ticket for dinner and conversation at the Marriott Pyramid North September 11th VIP banquet – one star will ‘host’ each table. There will also be a silent auction. “When else will an Albuquerque resident get to spend time with a World Cup alumnus?!?! It’s a special opportunity,” says Patel. “We will be honoring fire, rescue and police because it’s on September 11th. At each table will be a legend who is playing in the match.” Players will be making an appearance at the Capital September 12th, the Saturday game concludes with a concert by Pesade and Banda Trakalosa de Monterrey. Proceeds of these events benefit the Albuquerque Sol Foundation, which works with other non-profits and charities around the state to fight childhood obesity. The club is in its first year as a foundation and has raised over a thousand dollars. You can watch the match September 13th, 4pm at University Stadium. Purchase tickets online at • 25

New Mexicans and TEAM USA GOLD The Rocky Mountain 3-Gun World Shoot BY: SUMIKO CORLEY PHOTOS: COURTESY, TATE MOOTS

“Winning for the USA was a great honor for me, I wasn’t just shooting to represent me, I was shooting to represent my Country. I was honored to be selected for the team and I will say it felt amazing to win the Gold for the USA Team.” – Tate Moots, New Mexico shooter


welve countries. Six days. $300,000.00 in firearms and prize money up for grabs.

It happens once every four years, and this August, the 2014 World Championship came to the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, taking place during the annual Rocky Mountain 3-Gun Match. The world championship included teams from France, England, Finland, Germany, Russia, Canada Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Czech Republic and Poland. It culminated with team gold for USA team #1 and an individual silver for Tate Moots of Albuquerque. The US was represented by two teams comprised of shooters from all over the nation. Three of them happened to be from New Mexico, selected based on their individual performances during the 2013 competition season.

26 September 2014

“Out of sixteen countries,” says Tate Moots, “the two USA teams and the two Russian teams battled it out.  My team, USA 1 won and team USA 2 was a fairly close second place.  Both USA teams crushed the two Russian teams.  USA 1 was Kwan Watson, Jerry Mitchulik, Glenn Shelby (NM) and Tate Moots (NM); and USA 2 was David Neth, Tony Holmes, Kelly Neil and Don Bednorse (NM).” Thousands of people across the globe compete in 3-gun. The individual division spanned five days, with three stages of shooting each day. In each category, a contestant fires three different weapons. The course – open terrain, including valleys and drainages, utilizing hills and other elements of landscapes to test skills. Ranges of rifle targets - from close in to 700 yards out. Handgun and slug targets spanned distances of 10-100 yards. “There are five categories in the sport of 3-Gun now,” says Moots. “Open (anything goes with equipment), Tactical Optics (scoped rifle in 223, limited handgun, and semi-auto shotgun),

Tactical Iron (iron sighted 223 rifle, limited handgun and semi-auto shotgun), Scoped Heavy Metal (scoped 308 rifle, 45 ACP handgun and 12ga pump shotgun) and Heavy Metal (iron sighted 308 rifle, 45 ACP handgun and 12ga pump shotgun). All categories are fun and designed to allow the competitor to bring the equipment he/she has.” Moots captured 2nd in the High Law Enforcement category, receiving the Eddie Rhodes Memorial trophy, named in honor of a fallen law enforcement officer who founded the Heavy Metal class. Moots shot an iron sighted 308 rifle, 45 ACP handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun, all ammunition was at full power. Contestant come from all backgrounds – gun enthusiasts, former military and law enforcement. “Stages in 3-Gun have run-and-gun built into them,” says Moots. “The shooter may have to start at one point with one firearm strapped on his/her back and shooting another while moving to a different location and negotiating obstacles, transition to another firearm and finish with the third firearm. Some stages are designed so that the shooter chooses which targets to engage with each firearm and may shoot firearms more than once during a course of fire. Because of the growth in the sport and the prizes involved, the competition has become fierce. People who win the major matches are dedicated and practice at a level well beyond just going out to the range once in a while to plink, these competitors train hard at shooting, physical fitness, and their mental game.”

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Baseball Rules and Regulations If a thrown ball accidently touches a base coach, or a pitched or thrown ball touches an umpire, what happens next? Answer: The ball is alive and in play. However, if the base coach interferes with a thrown ball, the runner is out... • 27

Connie Mack World Series 2014 BY: SUMIKO CORLEY


or the first week in August, Farmington is one of the most important baseball hubs in the States.

The Connie Mack World Series is one of the premier events for up and coming baseball stars - a place to see some of the visiting greats, and BE seen - by college coaches. Of the ten teams vying for this year’s championship, the youngest team proved the mightiest - DBAT Gallegos out of Texas, coached by Roberto Gallegos entered the competition with a roster of 17-year olds and just two 18-year olds. They left tournament champs. Ricketts Field played host to a showdown between DBAT Gallegos and the Midland Redskins - the two teams produced nine of the 15 players named to the prestigious AllTournament Team. Midlands is the defending 13-time series champion. That winning run was brought to a halt by DBAT Gallegos who trumped Midlands 6-2 and 7-5 in back-to-back games. Four DBAT players claim All-Tournament Team honors. Tony Santillan, who moved from third base to pitcher, shut down Midland’s offense in the final and finished the tournament MVP. Farmington has been home to the Connie Mack World Series since 1965. It’s known to attract the best 16-18 year old players from the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. PHOTOS: COURTESY, MAJESTIC MEDIA

28 September 2014




hat an incredible year for Joc Pederson.

This outfielder for the Albuquerque Isotopes has just been named the PCL’s MVP, as well as Rookie of the Year. Pederson has also been picked for the All-PCL Team. This comes after a history-making evening August 23rd when he stole his 30th base of the season. 30 stolen bases, 30 home runs hit during a single season. That feat has distinguished his short career with entry to the 30-30 club. Pederson is one of just four in the PCL to ever achieve that milestone - the last time it happened gasoline cost ten cents a gallon - a loaf of bread was eight cents - the year was 1934, the man - Frank Demaree, who died 34 years before Pederson was born. Pederson is the top-ranked Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect entering this season, leading the PCL in home runs (33), on-base percentage (.434), runs scored (101), total bases (256) and walks (96). The Isotopes say his .590 slugging percentage currently ranks second in the league. His walks/runs scored hold the singleseason record for the ‘Topes. Pederson joins Chin-Feng Chen (31-31 in 1999, Class-A, San Bernardino) as the only other 30-30 minor leaguer for the Dodgers in nearly 60 years. Big league rosters are expanded this month. It’s anticipated Pederson will be called up, although that’s no guarantee of playing time. • 29

NM Open 2014



here seems to be a difference in being perfect and being a winner in bowling.

Three men rolled 300s at the 11th annual New Mexico Open, an official USBC-certified event that ran Aug. 14-17 at Tenpins & More in Rio Rancho on the center’s new synthetic lanes. Of the three, one was among the five competing in the always exciting stepladder finals Sunday afternoon, and he was, as they say, “one and done.” On Aug. 16, Geoffrey Young, John Conaway and Ben Laughlin turned in perfect games. But Young managed “only” a 218 as the No. 5 seed was knocked out of contention when the 4 seed, Michael Fagan, rolled a 227. Oddly, perhaps, Young had been the No. 1 seed for the 2013 stepladder finals, when he was upset 188-183 by second seed Nathan Bohr. Tenpins & More proprietor and Open organizer Steve Mackie said there were an all-time high of 217 bowlers, from 18 states and two other countries, this year, competing for more than $56,000. Diana Zavjalova, of Riga, Latvia, was one of the two foreign entries. She was last year’s USBC Queens champion and the reigning NAIA Collegiate Player of the Year, and named captain of the 76th AllAmerican team in a recent Bowler’s Journal. But she was unable to make the 12-person finals round, where bowlers went head-to-head, accumulating total pins and a bonus of 30 points for each game won. Female bowler Bryanna Caldwell of Arizona challenged the men ahead of her: She began that round, leading to the stepladder finals, in 12th place and finished in sixth, garnering an extra $300 for being the top female in the field. When Saturday, the 16th’s, action was completed, the field was down to 48 survivors. Returning to the center for 7:45 a.m. rounds, four more games were rolled, paring that four-dozen field down to one dozen. Among the tournament’s top 48 bowlers, Mackie noted, only three were from New Mexico, although New Mexicans accounted for about a third of the entire field. Among them was Albuquerque’s Lance Emerson, the Central New Mexico recently named the “Bowler of the Year.” As it turned out, Craig Nidiffer, 29, from Trenton, Michigan, won two games and the $10,000 that came with beating No. 1 seed Brett Wolfe, a southpaw who also finished runner-up in 2010. Nidiffer held the lead after Saturday’s competition, rolling three 268 games and a 298 en route to a total of 2,247. That had him 120 30 September 2014

pins ahead of Wolfe, but after Sunday’s match play, Nidiffer found himself in second place for the five-man finals. Ten strikes after his victory in the championship match, he said it was a good idea to bowl in the tournament for the first time, and the $10,000 would help him buy a new car. It wasn’t his biggest cash winnings, he said, nor was it the farthest from his home: He’d finished eighth in the Emir Open in Doha, Qatar, earlier this year. After Fagan, a PBA Tour bowler from Texas, defeated Young, he was knocked out by No. 3 Tyler Jensen, 246-224. Jensen, also from Texas, didn’t last long, as Nidiffer started out strong with five consecutive strikes, survived an open frame in the sixth – and again in the ninth – and escaped with a 204-195 victory. In the final, Wolfe, an Arizonan, opened with a strike but then managed only nine pins on his first ball in four of the next five frames, while Nidiffer led from start to finish, opening with four consecutive strikes and finishing with 10 strikes by game’s end, and nary an open frame. Nidiffer joins previous New Mexico Open winners John Young (2004-05), David Haynes (2006), Shawn Lee (2007), Mark French (2008), Chris Klerk (2009), Andrew Cain (2010), Devon Bidwell (2011), Lonnie Waliczek (2012) and Nathan Bohr (2013). The New Mexico Open, the brainchild of Mackie – who spent $150,000 to have 24 synthetic lanes installed this summer – began in 2004 with 78 bowlers and $14,000 in prize money. Both of those numbers just about tripled this year – to $56,000 and 217. “The economy is really going nowhere for seven years now, so we’re pleased that sponsors and bowlers have faith in supporting it in good numbers each year,” Mackie said. Among those sponsors were the Rio Rancho Convention & Visitors Bureau, which enjoyed the economic impact a few hundred bowlers can have on local eateries and motels, as well as gas stations; Wayne A. Luco, DDS, Family Dentistry; Ben E. Keith Co.; LoMar Bowling Supply; Century Bank; and Storm, the bowler’s company. Nevadan Eric Forkel was presented with the new Dee Miller Courage Award, named for the late mother of Mike Miller and Mackie’s wife, Dana. Forkel joined the PBA in 1981 and went through several months of intense physical therapy after falling through a skylight, which ended his pro career in 2000.

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New Mexico's #1 Sports magazine

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